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366 Liberation Rituals

17th November - 15th December 2010

OPENING: 16th November, 7 PM - 9.30 PM

PROJECT CURATORS: Margarethe Makovec & Anton Lederer »

Participating artist:

Igor Grubić

Presentation/Discussion: Margarethe Makovec and Anton Lederer
17 November, 11.00 – 14.00 pm

Location Open Space

366 Liberation Rituals. Every day, and at least a whole year long. The day over the 365 days of a normal year not only hints at the extraordinary quality of the project but already indicates the direction: one year is not enough, it cannot be enough to liberate oneself. To free oneself from the dominant thought patterns of contemporary society. And to break free towards new thinking, towards new readings of our everyday surroundings. Using art. To leave the space of art, this protected field, and to enter into a dialogue with a reality that is constantly being redefined by our contemporaries. To try to intervene in reality through an artistic language. The colour red. To focus on symbols and texts of critical thinking. To keep down the costs of the individual interventions while at the same time creating as much meaning as possible. In a European country to establish references back to its socialist past. To disobey 366 times.

Igor Grubić

Igor Grubić Link

Red fountain

On the day of the official visit of the U.S. President George W. Bush to Croatia, in front of the National Bank of Croatia at the Croatian Nobles Square (where also the International Monetary Fund offices are situated) I coloured the water in the fountain blood red, symbolically alluding to the blood of the victims of Bush’s international policy as well as protesting against the IMF policy.

The action of colouring the fountain was carried out as an illegal action, despite strong security measures and a large number of police officers monitoring the square as well as the circulation of citizens. The action also served as a direct provocation to the atmosphere of an emergency-like state in the country during Bush’s visit, as well as the regulation of public space and citizens’ behaviour, ranging from subservient cleaning of parks to welcome the American president, up to covering up and neutralizing any attempt of expressing criticism and resistance.

Scarves and monuments

By placing scarves on monuments, I aimed at reviving them and giving them an aura of active fighters in our everyday life. Placing the scarves on monuments was often done at the same time as “Little quotes lessons”. Both actions were carried out with the aim of awakening and questioning (the impact of) our cultural and political heritage. I placed the scarves on monuments to heroes of the anti-fascist movement.

Bicycle and flag

“Under all those flags that fly... one day I accidently found a way... I am free...”. (from a song by Haustor)

I wrapped the Croatian flag around its pole and around it I tied an unmarked red cloth. With this act I wanted to symbolically strip the state flag of its meaning. At the break of dawn I drove around the city on a bicycle, as a ‘phantom of freedom’. I managed to bring a smile to the faces of sleepy commuters on their way to work.

Christmas trees

Several days after New Year’s celebration, I would walk around different city districts in the morning, looking for Christmas trees that had been thrown out as garbage. I walked around neighbourhoods representing different social structures: middle-class, elite, as well as barracks where homeless people live. I put red baubles and a red star on top of the trees that I came across, suggesting a potential unity in a celebratory nostalgia for the past times.

System Errors...

Series of seminars and workshops by Gulsen Bal and Igor Grubić

Dates: 9 - 19 November

Location: Institut für Kunst und Gestaltung, TU Wien and Open Space

Language: English

Critical practice that builds upon the mapping of the creative moment of thinking differently implies an awareness of the mechanisms of methodology and the interaction of different planes of practice. What different kinds of engagement and encounters can thus arise from the possibilities and limitations of multi-directional models of curating that situate themselves at the edge of spaces of production? The hereby emerging new “models of production” call for an expanded notion of what creative practice is or could be. Certainly, this is to realise that one of the potentialities of art – understood as an activity of creatively interacting with the world – lies in exploring the complexities surrounding the “production of subject.” Furthermore, as O’Sullivan points out, critical practice today faces the fundamentally political question of “where are the dissenting/creative subjects of today? And how are they being produced?”

To address potential “models of production” of contemporary artistic practice in relation to these dynamics, the artist Igor Grubić will run a three days workshop conceived in dialogue with his installation work 366 liberation rituals at Open Space – Zentrum für Kunstprojekte. This installation forms part of the project System Errors, a series of micro-political actions and interventions performed by the artist on an almost daily basis seeking to disturb or rearticulate the cultural meanings of acts of power.

To underpin these concerns, the course will provide an introduction by Gulsen Bal, the founding director of Open Space, to the current discursive shifts occurring within contemporary creative practice and future perspectives these new crossovers between art and politics may produce.

This seminars and workshops will be held in English.

For more information see:

Supported by:

Stadt Wien - Kulturabteilung MA 7

We would like to thank our colleagues from Zagreb Ivana Bago and Antonia Majaca who have cooperated with us within the framework of the long-term project Land of Human Rights and who have made possible the 366 Liberation Rituals by Igor Grubić on the part of the g-mk | galerija miroslav kraljević.

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